Flopomania Debuts on 888poker For Reals This Time

After two false starts, 888poker has officially launched its new game type, dubbed Flopomania. It’s catchy, it’s fun to say, and it sounds like a Memorial Day car dealership sales extravaganza. But Flopomania is here and so far, players seem to like it.

As you might remember if you are one of the five people who have read anything I have written, 888poker accidentally activated some Flopomania tables on August 2nd. Players at the micro and low stakes tables gave the games a shot, but once 888poker released what had happened, it shut the tables down (though it permitted hands to run to completion).

The next day, the poker room addressed the non-controversy on Twitter:

888poker recently experienced a technical incident, which resulted in the accidental release of our new game called “Flopomania”. It took us all by surprise as the game is in final testing. This highly anticipated game will be ready to launch in the upcoming weeks. We will make sure to take all measures needed to prevent any reoccurrence of such incidents in the future.

As I mentioned, there were two Flopomania false starts – the other came about a week earlier, but did not draw the attention that the early-August one did.

At any rate, it was not a big deal in the slightest, just amusing, really. So when Flopomania showed up for a third time on Sunday, players might have held their collective breath for a moment, wondering if the tables would disappear once again. Fortunately, this time, Flopomania is for real.

The game is another effort by 888poker to appeal the recreational crowd, those players who mostly play poker for fun, rather than a real desire to make money. Obviously, everyone wants to win money playing poker, but most recreational players (and “recs” make up the vast majority of the online poker playing population) aren’t overly concerned with their profits. Win some, lose some, as long as they are having fun. Winning is always more fun than losing, but most players are generally content with small losses as long as they get some good entertainment bang for their buck.

There are only two differences between Flopomania and a regular Texas Hold’em game at 888poker. The first is that rather than having two players post the big and small blinds, everyone pays an ante. The second and most notable difference is that in Flopomania, there is no betting pre-flop. The hole cards and flop are dealt and then the betting rounds begin. The game proceeds as normal, just starting the wagering post-flop. The player to the left of the button begins the action.

It is pretty easy to see why Flopomania would appeal to recreational or casual players, those who just want to play for a little while, have some fun, and move on with their day. Without pre-flop betting, the hands play out faster, allowing players to get in more hands and have to fold pre-flop only to have to wait for everyone else to finish the hand. Additionally, since everyone sees the flop, more players will naturally hit a piece of the board and therefore more people will stay in the hand to the turn and possibly the river. This increased action is fun and makes games more exciting.

Though the primary twist of Flopomania is the elimination of pre-flop betting, the significance of the antes instead of blinds shouldn’t go unstated. Since every player has already made some commitment to the pot when the flop is dealt, there will likely be more incentive for more players to stay in the hand, again generating more action and upping the excitement factor of the game.

The decrease in betting rounds also reduces the gap between highly skilled and lesser skilled players. When you boil poker down to its simplest, it is the betting that separates the best players from the average and the average from the worst. Cutting down on the opportunities for skilled players to demonstrate said skill gives weaker players a better chance to win, thus monetarily and psychologically keeping them in the game longer.

For 888poker, one would think that the same reasons Flopomania games would appeal to players are the reasons it will be profitable for the poker room. Flopomania is all about ratcheting up the action. More action (read: betting) means larger pots means more rake for 888poker. And the more recreational players enjoy the game and are perhaps able to stave off the sharks, the longer they will hang around, the more they might be willing to deposit, and the more money 888poker makes.

So far, so good for Flopomania when it comes to early returns. According to a blog post on 888poker.com, 50 percent more players tried the game on opening day than tried BLAST Poker, one of 888poker’s other recent game introductions. The number of active players on Sunday was up compared to recent Sundays. A couple other stats were easily predictable: the number of average hands was 15 percent higher than regular six-max tables (without pre-flop betting, the hands would naturally go faster) and Flopomania helped 888 to a day with more flops than the poker room has ever seen.

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